Call: 1993 QC: 2009
Listed by the legal directories as a leading silk in three fields (Professional Negligence, Consumer & Product Liability and Administrative & Public Law), the "truly brilliant" Leigh-Ann Mulcahy QC is "first-rate", "handles cases beautifully", "works wonders for her clients" and has been commended for her "stunning performances" in court and "ease of manner with both peers and clients". She has wide advocacy experience at all levels including the Supreme Court and House of Lords. She has recently suceeded in two cases before the Supreme Court (the Atomic Veterans Litigation and the Employers' Liability Policy Trigger Litigation), and is acting in arbitral proceedings concerning a high value commercial contract for a complex IT system. A considerable part of her current practice involves advising on insurance issues arising out of asbestos liabilities. She has extensive experience of handling multi-party litigation and is especially noted for cases involving technical or scientific evidence.
She specialises in the following areas of practice:
- Professional liability, particularly claims involving lawyers and accountants;
- Product liability, including commercial products and claims in relation to food safety, medicines, medical devices and blood products;
- Insurance and reinsurance, particularly liability insurance;
- Commercial litigation, including commercial fraud and utilities law;
- Public law and human rights.
Prior to her appointment to silk, Leigh-Ann had a mixed private and Government client base practice as a result of holding the appointment of Treasury Counsel (A Panel). She acted for a wide range of Government departments and public bodies on issues including public law, EC law and human rights.
Major cases include:
- The Employers’ Liability Insurance Trigger Litigation, a multi-party action and major liability insurance case concerning asbestos/mesothelioma risks, which was appealed to the Supreme Court. She represented Zurich Insurance Company.
- The Atomic Veterans Litigation, a large multi-party action arising out of the British nuclear tests in Australia and the South Pacific in the 1950s which was again appealed to the Supreme Court. She represented the Ministry of Defence.
- The Miners' Knee Litigation, a large group action arising out of the development of osteoarthritis in the knee from coal mining. She represented the Department for Energy and Climate Change in a recent appeal by the claimants to the Court of Appeal.
- The Porton Down Litigation, a multi-party action arising out of a programme of non-therapeutic experimentation at Porton Down with chemical warfare agents and antidotes. She represented the Ministry of Defence.
- Medcalf v Mardell, a professional liability claim involving the first and only wasted costs case to be heard by the House of Lords. Leigh-Ann appeared on behalf of the successful barrister respondents. As junior counsel, she presented part of the appeal orally before the House of Lords.
- The BSE Litigation, a multi-party action which arose out of the development of BSE/vCJD and resulted in an ex gratia compensation scheme being set up by the Government. Leigh-Ann acted for the Department of Health and Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. During 2010, she defended a major judicial review of the vCJD Compensation Scheme.
- The Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease/Human Growth Hormone Litigation, a multi-party product liability action by claimants who had developed CJD as a result of taking human growth hormone or had received the medicine but were “worried well”. Leigh-Ann acted for the Department of Health and Medical Research Council.
- Aspirin/Reyes Syndrome, a product liability claim in which Leigh-Ann acted on behalf of the Committee on the Safety of Medicines.
A CEDR accredited mediator, the “clarity of her arguments” and “command of the detail” coupled with an acute awareness of the subtleties of negotiation mean that Leigh-Ann is as at home in ADR as in court. Leigh-Ann is Consultant Editor and contributor to The Law and Regulation of Medicines, is Editor of Jackson & Powell on Professional Liability (6th ed) and General Editor of Human Rights and Civil Practice. Leigh-Ann is also a director of Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund Ltd. She is called to the Bar of the Republic of Ireland. She is an international advanced advocacy trainer.
M.A. (Cantab.) LL.M. (Osgoode, Canada) Dip. E.C.Law (Kings). Foundation Scholarship (Jesus College); Squire Scholarship (Cambridge University); C.J. Hamson Prize for Contract Law (Cambridge University); Major Scholarship (Inner Temple); Commonwealth Scholarship.